HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head coach Jan Siewert has warned it is likely to take more than one transfer window to build the squad he wants.
The Terriers head to Southampton tomorrow for the final game of a two-year stay among the elite.
Relegation was confirmed before the end of March meaning thoughts have been able to turn towards next season and a return to the Championship.
A busy summer awaits under new owner Phil Hodgkinson as Town look to recover from what has been a miserable few months at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Siewert admits there has already been interest in several of his players with the likes of Aaron Mooy, Philip Billing and Terence Kongolo likely to be the most in demand.
“We want to be very ambitious and be successful once more,” said Huddersfield’s head coach. “Hopefully in time we will be back in the Premier League.
“Everyone has had a taste and wants to get back. But that is only possible if you make the right steps towards success. We want to be stable next season.
“We have some difficulties, which is normal after relegation, and it is important to realise that maybe it can’t be done all in one [transfer] window.
“But it is important to start with a positive signal. When you are passionate yourself you will see passion on the pitch.
“It is about getting players who have the ability to develop, and then the next step is to retain them.
“This is a developing club and we want, by developing players, to be a Premier League club.”
The expected exodus from Huddersfield this season will include out-of-contract trio Jonas Lossl, Laurent Depoitre and Danny Williams.
Abdelhamid Sabiri, expected to feature for Germany at this summer’s European Championships, has also been told he can leave by Siewert as part of the planned overhaul.
Key going forward will be Siewert’s relationship with new owner Hodgkinson, the pair having met last Tuesday.
“We had a decent conversation,” said Siewert about those talks. “We spoke on our views of the club and we are really on the same page, so I am looking forward.
“As he is, I am excited to build momentum for this club and go through this tough period because it will be a tough summer. We need to keep our eyes open.
“It is important Phil and I know we have the same principles in what we want to achieve.
“We have to learn from this season, but also do the things he wants to do.
“I know we are on the same page and will go forward with the club. It is an important time for the club.”
Before that revamp of the squad can truly get under way, Town must bring the curtain down on the campaign with a trip to Southampton.
Much has changed in the 17 months since Huddersfield last travelled to St Mary’s for a 1-1 draw that saw Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen offer to buy all the travelling fans a pint.
That off-field largesse from the Dane has since been replaced by a collective generosity on the pitch, especially away from home.
Town have claimed just 12 points from 27 league games on the road since that draw against Saints, underlining how much of a job Siewert has this summer to change the mentality of a squad that will feature Isaac Mbenza as a permanent £8m signing following his year on loan from Montpellier.
“I would say it is important to draw a line now and get rid of the s*** [experiences] that we have had,” added the Terriers’ chief.
“Sometimes things happen and you have to get rid of it. We start fresh next season and look to the future.
“I am not a negative person and it is important for me to work on solutions and not on problems.
“My ambition, first of all, is to get the squad to fit into our ideas. It may not be done in one window, but it is important we start the next season well as quickly as possible. We have to be realistic.
“You need a really competitive squad in the Championship because there are loads of games. Twenty players is not enough. I can’t give you an exact squad number [for 2019-20] because it depends who we can keep and who comes in.”
Siewert’s task will be helped if Town can offload players early in the summer. This, though, is not always easy for a side fresh from relegation.
“We know the value of these players,” he added.
“But first of all we have to know there is interest and then we can negotiate.”